About The Naturalist

The Naturalist provides knowledge verified by experts on Nordic and Baltic plants, animals and fungi. Learn about their distributions, natural history, and taxonomy.

Our objective is to provide a description with text and image, species occurrence map and, sometimes even audio recordings for all plants, fungi and animals. Many organisms currently lack detailed descriptions, but we always provide links to other sources of information.

A collaboration among Swedish, Finnish and Estonian development groups

The Naturalist is provided by the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Its origins are from a collaboration of Swedish, Finnish and Estonian partners in the EU BalticDiversity project.

The site is available in Swedish, Finnish, Estonian and English. The information about the organisms is different for the different language versions. Each country has its own authors.

Frequently asked questions

To find information in The Naturalist, enter the name of the organism in the search box at the top of the page, or start in the explore menu. Once you have selected a species page, you can browse to other closely-related species via the links. You will find information about Nordic and Baltic organisms, in many cases with detailed descriptions and photos. Determination keys are also available for some groups.

The Naturalist presents images and descriptions of species or groups of species (a species or group of species is called a taxon) as well as information on how they are classified (organised into groups) in biology.

Most of the Swedish text and media files in The Naturalist are produced primarily by scientists and curators at the Swedish Museum of Natural History but also by capable amateur biologists. The source of information will always be visible to make it easy to contact the editor or author.

The Naturalist employs web service methods that allow other systems to effectively retrieve and use information stored in local databases. So do not be surprised if you find information from The Naturalist elsewhere on the internet, such as the Encyclopedia of Life, or Wikipedia.

The Naturalist uses online resource data from GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) to present the latest information from scientists’ databases on occurrences of organisms. GBIF is the world’s largest resource for biodiversity data.

All texts in Naturalist are freely available with the only condition that you will specify the source. Media files are mostly available under the same conditions but sometimes the use may be restricted to non-commercial purposes. We consistently use copyright licenses from Creative Commons and link to the license description where you can read about the terms related to the use the material.

Read about the licenses on Creative Common’s website.

Example of page content from the Naturalist.
The Naturalist presents many species with detailed images and texts with facts verified by experts.
Search tips

You can search for common names, like "brown bear” or scientific names, such as “Ursus arctos”.

You can search on a part of a name. Enter “dragonfly” and you retrieve links to the golden-ringed, emperor, and hairy dragonfly pages.

Be as specific as you can in your search. The organism you are searching for may end up at the bottom of the resulting list if there are many organism names that start or end with the same sequence of letters.

Contact us

We are always interested in hearing from you! We welcome any questions, comments or suggestions for improvement.



A new way to present knowledge about organisms

The Naturalist presents knowledge about organisms' distribution, taxonomy and natural history in a new way by congregating information across national borders in the Baltic and Nordic region.